Pho is a popular street food in Vietnam and the specialty of a number of restaurant chains around the world. Vietnamese beef noodle pho is an easy soup to fall in love with.
If you love this pho soup and want more, be sure to check our recipe. It takes time but you will have your own pho soup in your comfy home.
INGREDIENTS (servings: 8 people)
For the Pho broth
- 3 kg of beef knuckles or leg bones
- 2 kg boneless beef
- 5 liters cold water
- 2 yellow onions unpeeled, sliced in half
- 2 pieces fresh ginger unpeeled, sliced in half
- 5 star anise
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar or 1 piece of yellow rock sugar
For the Pho Bowls
- 1 kg small flat rice noodles dried or fresh
- cooked beef from the broth
- 1 onion sliced paper-thin (soaked in cold water to cover for 30 minutes and drained)
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
- 4 scallions (green parts only), thinly sliced
Garnish for Pho Recipe
- sprigs of fresh mint
- asian/ thai basil
- bean sprouts
- thinly sliced red chilies (such as Thai bird)
- 2 limes cut into wedges
- fish sauce
Step 1: Add beef bones to a large pot that will hold at least 10 liters. Then, cover bones with cold water. Place pot onto high heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 to 5 minutes. During this time, impurities and foam will be released and rise to the top.
Step 2: Drain bones discarding the water. Rinse the bones with warm water and scrub stockpot to remove any residue that has stuck to the sides. Add the bones back to the stockpot and cover with 5 liters of cold water.
Step 3: Turn the oven to low broil and move an oven rack to a high position. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the onions and the ginger side-down onto baking sheet and broil for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn onions and ginger occasionally so that they become charred or browned on all sides.
Step 4: Warm a medium soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the cinnamon sticks, cloves, and star anise, coriander seeds and toast until fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 3 to 4 minutes. Place toasted spices into a cotton muslin bag/herb sachet or cheesecloth then tie with butchers twine to seal.
Step 5: Bring stockpot with parboiled bones and water to a boil then lower to a gentle simmer. Add charred onion and ginger as well as the bag or sachet of toasted spices. Add salt, fish sauce and the rock sugar. Continue to simmer broth, uncovered, for 3 hours. If at any time foam or scum rises to the surface, use a spoon to remove it.
Step 6: Remove the bones, onion and ginger from broth then strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve positioned over a pot. Discard the remaining solids. Use a ladle or fine meshed skimmer to skim as much fat as possible from the top of the broth. Taste and adjust the flavor with salt, fish sauce and sugar.
Assemble the pho bowls
Step 1: If you are using dried rice noodles, cover them with hot tap water and let them soak for 15 minutes, or until they are pliable and opaque. Drain in a colander. If you are using fresh rice noodles, untangle them, place in a colander, and rinse briefly under cold running water. To cook the noodles, bring a medium saucepan filled with water to a boil. Place noodles into boiling water and cook for about 10 seconds or until they collapse. Drain noodles then divide between bowls.
Step 2: Cut the cooked beef into thin slices. Set all beef aside. Ready the raw onion, scallions, cilantro leaves for adding to the bowls. Arrange the garnishes on a plate and put on the table.
Step 3: If the soup has cooled, bring the broth to a simmer over medium heat as you are assembling the bowls.
Step 4: For each bowl, place a portion of the noodles. Arrange slices of raw meat into bowls, and then top with the hot broth. Finish broth with onion slices and cilantro, mint, basil, bean sprouts or slices of red chilies.